Monday, March 13, 2017

It's a Family Thing

Baseball is a sport that brings families closer together.  My children are only 12 and 8, but I cannot count the hours we have spent playing baseball or sitting in the stands watching minor league games.  My wife and I have also spent many dates at Busch Stadium rooting for the Cardinals.  We spent part of our honeymoon in 2001 catching a weekend series against the Pirates.  I have fond memories of that weekend for obvious reasons, but also I caught a McGwire batting practice home run ball. It still sits proudly in my display case.

Baseball cards also have family ties.  Whether you rip some packs with your kids or grandkids, or trade with long time friends cards have a way of bringing people together.  Last week I received a small package of Cardinals from Trading Bases member Mark.  He sent a note that mentioned this is the 17th time we have traded.  I do not keep trade stats, but I am pretty sure that is the most I have traded with anyone.  Mark is a fellow Cardinals fan that I swap team cards with a lot.  He is also the first online trading partner I met in person.  We met up at a Memphis Redbirds game 3 years ago.  On to the cards Mark sent.

 2016 Bowman featured an insert set called Family Ties.  The Cardinals actually drafted Mike's son Tate in the late rounds a few years ago, but he did not sign.  The Red Sox picked him in the 4th round of the 2015 draft.  He played against his father's team in the first spring training game this year. 

It seems like it has been a long time since the late 1990s when Tatis Sr. played third base for the Cardinals.  His son is a shortstop prospect who was traded to the Padres as part of the James Shields deal.  As bad as the Padres are, he might make his MLB debut this year.

Chris Duncan was a member of the 2006 Cardinals World Series team that his dad Dave was the pitching coach for.  He was blocked at first base by Pujols, so he was stuck in the outfield where he would make Jose Canseco look like a gold glover.  A great guy that has overcome cancer to work in sports radio around the St. Louis area.  This is a 2006 Topps Factory Set Bonus card I have never seen before.

I do not know anything about these three young pitchers family wise, only that each has signed in-person autographs for my kids while members of the Peoria Chiefs or Springfield Cardinals.  Most people have heard of Weaver and Reyes, but keep an eye on Flaherty.  He should pitch in Double A as a 21 year old this year.  Scouts say he has 3 to 4 plus pitches with a good understanding of when to throw them.   

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